Surprises should never be underestimated.  A surprise changes the dynamics of living.  So . . . it lights me up when I have the opportunity to be a part of a surprise. Tricia and Troy planned a weekend of surprises for the girls.  They began by picking them up early from school, which is a dream-come-true for most students.   I say “most” because there  are some students who may feel they will fall behind if, they miss a moment of school.  I know this because it was always challenging for me to miss something at school; however, I often was more concerned about missing something with my friends than with academics.

Anyway . . .

We were assigned to arrive early so the girls could be  surprised  when they arrived at the  Portland Oregon ZooLights. I woke up excited for the opportunity of the day.  The thing is . . . I’m not sure who was more excited when they came up the zoo road . . .  BUT  it was an epic moment.

We entered the zoo with great expectation and left impressed.  I am sure that the big goal of the Zoolight creators  was to surprise everyone with the magic of light in the darkness of the night.  They nailed it.


The wonderful of it all came from being with one another. 

The word, “with,” explains it all.   The concept of “with” is key  in the experience  of the Advent season.    The most profound part of living is “with-God,”  which is after-all the Christmas surprise for all humanity.  At the time of the first Christmas, individuals did not see how it could be possible to have an up-close and personal relationship with God. The underlying impact of the with-God life is underlined in these words to learn and anchor into the depths of the soul.

This truth is surprising to me every. single. day.

*God is with you. ALWAYS.  God won’t leave you.  EVER.  God is for you.  ALL THE TIME. 

This changes many things in our life, including how we view the challenging and difficult situations.

It’s easy to perceive challenges and difficulties as an attack on our life as if, it’s against us. BUT.  (I love these big buts.)

God is with us, won’t leave us, and is for us.  So.  Nothing and no one can be against us.  God wants the best for us and will bring it all together for good.

*It’s our choice whether or not we will connect to this truth.  I suggest putting these promises in front of you to review and repeat every day.  Write the words in your journal or  on your phone-notes or on a notecard to take with you during the day.

The key is understanding repetition makes us stronger–so you can either use the above statements I made from these God-words or make your own statement–the main thing is do it in order to live your best:

  •  “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6, Message)
  • “What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?”  (Romans 8:31, NLT)
  • “So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.”  (Romans 828, TPT)

I pray you will enjoy the day.  AND.  Be prepared for surprises as you live the with-God life–Kerrie

By the way . . . Joshua Lindley and I  will be launching tablethink in January 2019 . . . with the invitation to sit at our viritual table  for inspiration and innovation as you invest your life in living your best.   If, you have access to the Salem, Oregon area we hope you will stop by between noon and four at our open house on December 16.  For details see  And, I will keep you updated on my public Facebook page @

My Advent Writing Place

Written by Kerrie Carlisle Palmer © 2018 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED